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Columbia Energy Exchange

William Reilly – President George H.W. Bush’s Energy and Environmental Legacy

The recent passing of President George H.W. Bush has spurred an interest in his energy and environmental policy and its legacy. In the latest Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, host Jason Bordoff sat down with William Reilly, who was the EPA Administrator during President George H.W. Bush’s Administration.

Bill recounts the significance of the environment in Bush’s presidential campaign, which led to landmark environmental policies, and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and significance of the Clean Air Act of 1990. He describes what it was like working for the Administration, including internal divisions on the environment. Jason and Bill discuss other notable milestones like the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Jason and Bill also cover carbon pricing, climate policy, and what needs to happen to encourage both sides of the aisle to work together in solving these pressing issues.

In addition to his time with the Bush administration, Bill served as a senior staff member at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, under President Nixon. President Clinton appointed him as a founding Trustee of the Presidio Trust of San Francisco.  President Obama appointed him co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Future of Offshore Drilling. Bill served as president of World Wildlife Fund and later chairman of the board. He has also served in the U.S. Army. He’s currently on a number of private sector and non-profit boards. Bill holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University, a Law Degree from Harvard, and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University.

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